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Author Topic: Ashchurch for Tewkesbury Station - campaign for renaming and other improvements  (Read 48333 times)
inspector_blakey
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2010, 04:33:38 pm »

To run wiht your theme willc, and never mind that there's an anomaly at Bodmin, a Parkway station is supposed to have lots of car parking space (e.g. Bristol Parkway and Didcot Parkway with, I believe, well north of 1,000 spaces each) rather than some cruddy little car park with 55 spaces!

Bodmin Parkway was just a renaming of Bodmin Road to make it sound a bit more modern, and I suspect to make it clear that it wasn't that close to Bodmin. It wasn't a purpose-built Parkway station like the original at Bristol. And yes, I know Didcot wasn't built as a Parkway station but the soubriquet was applied after the enormous car parks were built and it had become a "park and ride" railhead for much of south Oxfordshire.
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willc
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2010, 06:13:31 pm »

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It hardly gets people out of cars if they have to use them to get to the station

So we should close these stations and make people get a bus all the way into town instead? That idea would go down well in the north of Bristol. And in the case of Didcot, the station serves a huge swathe of Oxfordshire with limited bus services once off the main roads - and there's not a single station for 20 miles west to Swindon. Maybe we should close down city park-and-ride bus services by employing the same logic and demand people use buses from where they live (which assumes there is such a bus service in the first place - often there isn't). As for Chiltern's business plan for Oxford-London, it wouldn't add up without the planned Water Eaton Parkway. Not everyone is fortunate enough to live 10 minutes' walk from a station - happily for me, I do.

So inspector, what should they call it? Leave the name as it is, which it appears the locals aren't hugely keen on, just call it Tewkesbury, which isn't strictly correct, hence it wasn't used when the station reopened, or perhaps a name used for railway stations to indicate they're a bit out of town (just as much as it indicates they have a car park, whatever the size), such as, er, Parkway?

And if the station in question had a regular, predictable train service people could rely on, offering more options destination-wise, rather than the erratic, frequently chopped-and-changed service of recent times, where in order to go north to Birmingham you first have to go south to Cheltenham much of the day and where London connections are often better via Bristol Parkway than Cheltenham, then it probably would need a much larger car park.
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2010, 06:41:55 pm »

So inspector, what should they call it? Leave the name as it is, which it appears the locals aren't hugely keen on

Yes! I think your analysis in the last paragraph is spot-on. People don't use it because the train service there is infrequent and not very useful.

Ashchurch for Tewkesbury describes it perfectly IMHO - tells you where it is and that a major town is nearby. And do the locals really dislike it, or does a small minority who took to the streets with a petition dislike it? Not necessarily the same thing - frankly if I'm accosted by a busybody with a clipboard whilst out and about, unless it's something I violently disagree with it's generally much easier just to sign the petition to get them to go away. I would agree with you completely that it probably isn't very difficult to get a few hundred signatures on a petition, but as you will know there are all sorts of possible confounding factors (How many of them were locals, was an unbiased question asked, etc etc) that you can't really conclude that the natives as a whole don't like the name.

Honestly, I think that re-naming the station is just pointless tinkering around the edges and would make almost no difference to usage there. What might well help is the provision of a better train service.
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6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2010, 07:30:50 pm »

yawn
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The Grecian
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2010, 08:00:33 pm »

A lot of Parkway stations were opened to reflect reality re driving. I believe part of Bristol Parkway's purpose was to draw people in from the M4 further west who were going to London. Ultimately some people will always favour driving west of there because the railway doesn't have a significant speed advantage beyond BPW, whereas central London is less than 90 minutes from BPW. While it would be nice to get everyone using the railway further west it isn't going to happen but at least BPW gets them using the railway for part of the journey.

Likewise Tiverton Parkway is attractive for people from North Devon who want to go to London or Birmingham and the north who are unlikely to want to use the Tarka Line from Barnstaple to Exeter (or if it had survived Beeching, wouldn't want to use a rambling branch line from Barnstaple to Taunton). Again, better they use the railway for part of their journey than not at all.

Hope I'm not going too off-topic here!
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6 OF 2 redundant adjunct of unimatrix 01
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2010, 08:08:05 pm »

A lot of Parkway stations were opened to reflect reality re driving. I believe part of Bristol Parkway's purpose was to draw people in from the M4 further west who were going to London. Ultimately some people will always favour driving west of there because the railway doesn't have a significant speed advantage beyond BPW, whereas central London is less than 90 minutes from BPW. While it would be nice to get everyone using the railway further west it isn't going to happen but at least BPW gets them using the railway for part of the journey.

Likewise Tiverton Parkway is attractive for people from North Devon who want to go to London or Birmingham and the north who are unlikely to want to use the Tarka Line from Barnstaple to Exeter (or if it had survived Beeching, wouldn't want to use a rambling branch line from Barnstaple to Taunton). Again, better they use the railway for part of their journey than not at all.

Hope I'm not going too off-topic here!

not at all its my fault, thankyou for a constructive reply to my comments
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Btline
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2010, 09:27:26 pm »

This is a no brainer. The station is there to serve Tewksbury. The "for Tewksbury" bit is actually rarely used - probably because it is clunky.

Parkway is a good idea, as (a) the station is not in the centre of town and (b) with a decent service and adverts, it would get people off the M5 to park here.

All we need now is for LM and FGW to bash their heads together to form an hourly Bristol - Worcester service, and for XC to stop messing Worcestershire about and stop ALL the Cariff - Nottinham trains here! Oh, and throw in a free bus link to Tewksbury every 15 mins.

[Wakes up.] Roll Eyes
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John R
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« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2010, 09:35:07 pm »

and for XC to stop messing Worcestershire about and stop ALL the Cariff - Nottinham trains here!
[Wakes up.] Roll Eyes

Why is not stopping at Ashchurch (or even Tewksbury Parkway) messing Worcestershire about?
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Btline
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« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2010, 09:49:52 pm »

Because they add stops in one TT change, then take them out. Some used to run via Worcester. Now none do. It's the consistency of service that's at fault.

One day, commuters turned up at Ashchurch, no train stopped for a while, although several roared through. It later dawned on them that in the new timetable, there was no service (for commuters) to B'ham anymore! Gone - cancelled just like that.

These people (who'll now use the M5) won't come back to the railways until there is a stable service. Of course, the bean counters will see declining passenger numbers as an excuse to axe the remaining services that cling on...
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2010, 10:54:20 pm »

Parkway is a good idea, as (a) the station is not in the centre of town and (b) with a decent service and adverts, it would get people off the M5 to park here.
(my emphasis)

Continuing with my devil's advocate hat on though, is that a good idea? The place only has 55 car parking spaces, and although I don't know the local geography well I doubt the burghers of Ashchurch would be particularly impressed if their village turned into a giant car-park for the railway station.
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Btline
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« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2010, 11:43:07 pm »

It's in an industrial estate.
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John R
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2010, 07:09:24 am »

Because they add stops in one TT change, then take them out. Some used to run via Worcester. Now none do. It's the consistency of service that's at fault.

One day, commuters turned up at Ashchurch, no train stopped for a while, although several roared through. It later dawned on them that in the new timetable, there was no service (for commuters) to B'ham anymore! Gone - cancelled just like that.

These people (who'll now use the M5) won't come back to the railways until there is a stable service. Of course, the bean counters will see declining passenger numbers as an excuse to axe the remaining services that cling on...

It's not in Worcestershire though.
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gwr2006
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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2010, 05:15:22 pm »

Taking another angle, perhaps someone in the know in the industry can explain what is involved in changing the name of a station and the costs involved in doing so as it doesn't happen alot.

I'm thinking it would involve quite a bit more than simply changing the name on the platforms - that's the easiest bit!  The entire train planning system at Network Rail and the train companies and the rail enquiry ststem at NRES would need to be updated, as would the other journey planning websites/software, then there are the numerous leaflets, timetables and other printed material that mentioned 'Ashchurch for Tewkesbury' that various companies produce and all the advance notices about the name change (how far geographically would they need to be shown?)... and if it is possible to book through tickets via Eurostar the train booking system across Europe needs to be updated.

I am sure all the costs would add up which is why stations rarely change their names. Someone needs to pay for it - who is going to do that in the current climate unless there is an overwhelming reason to do so?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2010, 01:51:07 pm »

From The Citizen (Gloucester):

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RAIL enthusiasts are celebrating a significant improvement being introduced at Ashchurch Railway Station, just a year after their group was formed.

Members of the Ashchurch, Tewkesbury and District Rail Promotion Group have been pressing First Great Western to install help points at the station and the company has now put them in.

There is one on each platform and they have a screen showing information about when the next train is coming, where it is going to and whether it is on time.

Group spokesman John Stretton said: "Until now, there has only been a box with a button to push and you then heard a recorded message. This is a live screen. It's not as big as those in the big stations but it's big enough. There's also a button for help if you want to speak to somebody."

The group is trying to make other improvements to the station.
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Pedros
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« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2010, 02:54:22 pm »

Hi all,  as someone who was born, raised and escaped from Tewkesbury (or Chooksbury, if you're local) I'm in favour of the name change.  One of the my main thoughts about the 'Ashchrurch for Tewkesbury' tag is that it's not blatently obvious that there is a station in or near the town of Tewkesbury.  Having just checked on the FGW website, nothing comes up if you search for Tewkesbury.  Hopefully, by calling the station 'Tewkesbury Parkway' may advertise the station more.  Just my thinking.

However, I would strongly agree about the mess regarding the services that stop at the station.  When I lived in town, I used the station to travel to Lincoln (there used to be the odd direct service, or a service to Nottingham) and to Cardiff and there were always quite a few people on and off at the station.  I was quite shocked to see recently how much the service had been reduced.  A real shame.
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